March 19, (THEWILL) – Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted about One Million, Two Hundred and Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty (1,205,260) pills of opioids during interdiction operations in Kogi and Gombe States.
Spokesperson of the Agency, Femi Babafemi, in a statement issued on Sunday, said anti-narcotic officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, also disrupted the activities of a drug syndicate that operates between Nigeria, East Africa, and Europe, and arrested two members of the cartel.
Operatives at the Lagos airport had on Monday, 13th March, intercepted a member of the drug syndicate, Ejezie Vitus Ifeanyi, during the screening of inward passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight from Malawi via Addis Ababa at the arrival hall.
“When a search was conducted on him, it was discovered that one of his two bags had a false bottom concealment. During preliminary interview of the suspect, he confessed that a member of the syndicate was waiting at the airport carpark to pick him up. An immediate follow-up operation led to the arrest of Chukwu Franco Bright, who was waiting in a grey colour Mercedes Benz C180 coupe, marked EKY 973 GQ to receive the drug consignment.
“After his arrest, a proper search of the bag was conducted before the two suspects leading to the recovery of 3.00 kilograms of heroin. Findings reveal that the drug syndicate networks between Nigeria, and Malawi, Mozambique in East Africa and Europe. While Chukwu, who lives in Lagos is responsible for the recruitment and coordination of the activities of mules on behalf of other members of the cartel based in Mozambique and Malawi, another set operates from the South-Eastern part of Nigeria,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, NDLEA operatives at the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA on Wednesday, 15th March, intercepted a jerrycan of palm oil going to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. At the point of examination, it was discovered that 600 grams of cannabis sativa were concealed inside the jerrycan of palm oil. A suspect, Tunde Ogunbowale, who presented the consignment for export to Dubai, was immediately arrested.
This is even as an attempt to export 2.7kg cannabis packaged as part of dried onions to Dubai through a postal service firm was frustrated by NDLEA officers attached to the courier company, who seized a carton filled with colourful sachets of dried onions, used to conceal the illicit consignment.
In Kogi State, a total of 530,160 pills of tramadol and 99,000 tabs of diazepam were seized along the Okene-Abuja highway from a bus driver, Suleiman Oyedokun, 41, coming from Onitsha, Anambra State and going to Kontagora, in Niger State, on Monday, 13th March. Same day, 576, 100 pills of tramadol concealed in bags of rubber slippers were intercepted by NDLEA officers at trailer garage, old mile 3 road area of Gombe metropolis, Akko LGA, Gombe State.
Four suspects: Usman Suleiman, Ya’u Yusuf, Saidu Suleiman and Abubakar Umar have so far, been arrested in connection with the seizure.
In Kaduna, 367 kilograms of cannabis sativa were recovered from a vehicle with registration number FKJ141DX. Two suspects: Monday Suleiman, 62, and Sama’ila Mohammed, 30 were arrested while a bribe of One Million Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,200,000) offered to NDLEA officers was documented as part of exhibits to prosecute the suspects.
Operatives in Delta State also, on Wednesday, 15th March, arrested a local female distiller of cannabis sativa and dry gin, Ebi Akpotudua, 52, to produce a cocktail drink popularly known as monkey tail. She was arrested at Ugboroke by river road, Warri, with 19.5 litres of monkey tail and 22.2kg of cannabis.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officers of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), commended the officers and men of MMIA, DOGI, Kogi, Gombe, Kaduna, and Delta Commands for their professionalism and staying focused.
He charged them and their colleagues across the country to intensify the heat on drug cartels.